Trump blasts Dem push to abolish ICE: 'Zero chance'

President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE on Saturday blasted the progressive push to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), praising the agency for its work to “liberate” towns from gang violence.

“The Democrats are making a strong push to abolish ICE, one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen,” he tweeted. “I have watched ICE liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13 & clean out the toughest of situations. They are great!”

"To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit," he wrote in a second tweet. "You are doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe by eradicating the worst criminal elements. So brave! The radical left Dems want you out. Next it will be all police. Zero chance, It will never happen!"

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Trump’s tweets come a few days after democratic socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who ran on a platform calling for the elimination of ICE, beat 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a primary. 

Calls to abolish the agency have grown among progressives, activists and on social media amid criticism over Trump’s immigration policies, and the movement has begun to gain traction among lawmakers.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandWarren visits migrant care shelter, says children being marched 'like little prisoners' Where 2020 Democrats stand in betting markets ahead of first debate GOP lays debate trap for 2020 Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday became the first sitting senator to call for ICE to be abolished, saying it has become “a deportation force.” 

"I think you should separate out the criminal justice from the immigration issues," Gillibrand said. "I think you should reimagine ICE under a new agency, with a very different mission, and take those two missions out … you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works."

Sens. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Don't expect Trump-sized ratings for Democratic debates MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisPoll: Biden leads Democratic field by 6 points, Warren in second place 2020 Dems say they will visit Homestead facility holding migrant children Warren visits migrant care shelter, says children being marched 'like little prisoners' MORE (D-Calif.) have demanded that ICE be examined, but have stopped short of calling for its abolition. In the House, Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanWarren introduces universal child care legislation On The Money: DOJ offers legal opinion backing refusal to release Trump tax returns | Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage | Trump bashes Powell ahead of crucial Fed meeting | Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage push MORE (D-Wis.) introduced legislation to eliminate ICE, citing Trump’s handling of the agency.

ICE arrests of immigrants with no criminal convictions have increased dramatically under the Trump administration. Those calling for the agency's abolition have said that ICE is being used to "terrorize" immigrant communities through raids and targeted arrests.